Top Seven Best Holiday Bridesmaid Bonding Activities

It’s getting chilly outside but that can’t stop you from getting out with your girls! If you want your bridesmaids to bond this winter leading up to the big day, we’ve got seven awesome ways for you all to bond. You can turn any of these into one of your bachelorette party, or even a pre-bachelorette party. Get out, have fun, and stay warm!

Secret Santa

A cute, sweet way for you to bond with your bridesmaids is to get everyone together and have a secret santa party. Arrange secret santas a week or two before your party, and get everyone together. You can theme it to add to the mystery, like as a masquerade party where secret santas are super secret! You’ll all have to get to know each other while you’re shopping for each other, and it’s a great excuse to hang out and bond with a low level of bridal talk.

Volunteer Together

‘Tis the season for giving- both for loved ones and for those who need it. Get together as a group and do some serious good. If you’re all crafty or Pinterest fanatics, have a baking or cooking party and donate food to a local shelter or pass food out to those who need it. If you’re more hands on, volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you’re all mallrats, go out and pick up blankets, jackets, winter gear, anything at all and donate them to those who need it. It’s such a great way to give back and get close together. Plus, you can brag on how your bridal party gave back during your big day!

Santa Crawl

Every big city nowadays has a santa crawl around the holidays, and it’s so amazing! A ton of people dress up as Santas, elves, and all sorts of fun holiday characters and go place to place. It’s totally fun and a great way to experience fun new places with your girls. You can all dress up as a themed group and have a great time! Team bridesmaids is always the best team to be on- especially if they’re sporting some holiday cheer.

Gingerbread Bake-Off

Want to stay in for the night? Have a little competition with a fun holiday classic. There are gingerbread house kits that can be as low as around $5 for a whole box, or you can bake everything fresh yourself (but that’s more of an advanced move). Get your girls together, put out some icing and candy, and see who can build the best gingerbread house. Trader Joe’s has a great gingerbread house kit that’s under $10 and actually is super yummy. You can hashtag your whole night and see which of your bridesmaids is the most creative.

Ice Skating

Remember all those birthdays in the fourth grade you got invited to at ice rinks? Yeah, it’s still fun to go ice skating! Some places even have discount nights during the week when it’s a little slower, and if you go on a school night it can be less crowded. If you have a more athletic group of bridesmaids, this could be a really fun way to bond and get into the holiday spirit. There’s a whole bunch of outdoor ice rinks popping up this season in major malls and shopping areas and they’re way more fun than they look.

Tree Decorating Party

Get together at someone’s house and everyone needs to bring different ornaments to decorate a bridesmaids-only tree. You can sit around in footy pajamas, sew popcorn together, throw tinsel up in the air, and hang your ornaments with care. If you’re able to keep it to just bridesmaids so it can be your ‘family’ tree. Fake trees are actually fairly inexpensive (under $50 for some serious tree height!) and are a great addition to any house to make everything look more festive.

Hot Cocoa Night

Stay home and make a whole ton of hot cocoa and have fun stuff to go along with it. You can add things like raspberry, pirouettes, gingerbread cookies, all sorts of fun stuff to your hot cocoa. Have everyone make a different flavor and have fun with it! Take pictures, compare recipes, and see who can make the best original hot cocoa. If you find a recipe you all really love, write it down and maybe save it for your next winter party! Or if it’s really good- your wedding!


Top Five Fall Bachelorette Party Ideas

It’s starting to get a little cooler out here and the seasons are finally changing! If you’ve got a bachelorette party coming up this Fall and you’re stuck in pool party mode, we’ve got some ideas for you. Embrace this season with our top five Fall bachelorette party ideas!

Bachelorette Bake Off

If you’re not big on going out, why not stay in and make some pies? Make some mini pies and get as house-wifey as you can. You can have everyone bring over cute aprons and play old music to make it fun. Turn it into a bake off between the bridesmaids and have a small prize for the winner. If you have extra pies left over, pass them off to the groomsmen as a surprise!

Park Day

Now that school’s back in, it’s a great time to hit up a theme park! Disneyland is a personal favorite here at Bridal Hot List, but most theme parks are much less crowded in the fall. Plan for a work/school ditch day with the bridesmaids and ride some rides. Try to go on a weekday to avoid any crowds. Since its also a non-peak season, some parks have lower pricing (like Magic Mountain/Six Flags). It’s a really fun way to bond and create new memories with your favorite ladies and get a chance to play in a theme park when it’s not packed. There are also apps and websites for most major theme parks that will let you know what days won’t be crowded.

Try a Tasting

Is it too cold to go from place to place for your bachelorette party? Look for local wine shops or breweries that do tastings. You’ll get the experience of trying out different flavors and new things without having to trudge through any Fall weather. If you’re not a big drinker, sometimes chocolate shops also hold tastings. Tastings can also be a great way to get package deals on a variety of goods, so it would also be a great way to save a little money.

Stay In

Not feeling like going out? Don’t feel pressured to! Grab your girlfriends, your matching PJs, and have a good old fashioned pajama party. Your bachelorette party doesn’t need to be crazy- if that’s not your style don’t do it! There’s nothing wrong with popping a few bottles of wine and watching as much Orange is the New Black as your heart desires. You can make it super old school and play board games and eat lots of candy. No shame in staying in, ladies!

Go Off Season

If you want to do something a little more daring, get out of your town and check out an off-season resort or spa! Pricing in Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and most beach towns are a little lower now that summer’s over. If you can swing getting a Friday off, try to head out on a Thursday night and make a long weekend of it. Of course, it’ll be cheaper to do mid-week if you can schedule that with all your bridesmaids! Your short vacation may not be as sunny as you may imagine, but if you pick a place that isn’t hit too hard by Fall weather it’ll actually be quite nice.


Top Five Single Girl Survival Tips for Weddings

So your best friend is getting married- that’s awesome! But if you’re not coupled up, it can be scary to go to go to a friend’s wedding. There’s a certain stigma associated with weddings and couples that can totally be intimidating. Bridal Hot List can be your wingman at your next wedding (we love brides and someday-brides alike!), and we’ll get you through it!

Focus on Other People’s Love Lives

Why are you going to a wedding in the first place? Oh right, two people loved each other so much they decided to throw a party and make it official! That’s plenty of reason alone to not focus on what’s going on in your love life and instead focus on someone else’s. If you’re a romantic, go ahead and appreciate the romance!

Bring a Buddy

It’s dangerous to go alone- take a friend with you! Check out who’s invited and see if you can buddy up with another friend who’s going stag. If you can’t find anyone else who’s heading out to the wedding, ask around to see who’s not coupled up. It’s okay- you’re not the only one looking for a wedding buddy! You also run the chance of being paired up with a wedding buddy who’s really cute, and that’s always worth the risk.

Get Involved

If you can’t find someone to buddy up with and you’re not a romantic, go ahead and make yourself useful! Be an awesome friend and offer to help out as much as you can and just stay busy. Weddings are a huge event, there will always be a way that you can help out! Offer to help out with the guest book, watch any kids, keep an eye on any randomly invited ex’s to keep them separated, or anything else that may come up! Do something good and help out. Who knows- that karma may come back around and you could find yourself getting extra help at your next event!

Ask Questions

Talking to strangers can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re hitting the wall looking for someone to talk to, just start asking questions. People love to feel like their opinion is valued, why don’t you indulge someone and find out more about whoever’s sitting next to you? Ask them who they know, where they’re from, go ahead and swap stories! You could be sitting next to your new best friend.

Take Pictures

Looking for an icebreaker? Offer to snap some shots! Now more than ever, people have access to great cameras and knowledge on photography. Bring a point and shoot at the very least and go around taking some candids! It can be a great way to start talking to new friends and an even better way to remember the party later.


Top Five Tips for Last Minute Bachelorette Parties

It’s already August- can you believe how quickly this summer passed by? If this summer’s been moving too quickly for you, you may have missed out on a few fun things. For example, did you remember to do a bachelorette party? Or were you more focused on the actual wedding? It’s okay to be focused on the big day, but you need to remember to take some time to have fun with your girls, too! If you need to take a weekend aside to have some fun with your bridesmaids, keep scrolling to check out our top tips on planning a last minute bachelorette party.

Keep It Short

Keep the bachelorette party to just a night if you’re in town, or two tops if you’re hitting the road. As you get closer to the wedding, you’ll all become more and more busy. Booking a long spa weekend with a Monday or Friday away from work can be too hard to plan for most people- especially if they’re already taking time off to go to the wedding. If you’re hitting the road aim for leaving on a Friday night and coming back Sunday afternoon. Do what you can to make it as unintrusive to everyone as possible.

Make a Plan

Of course you have one thing on your plan- have fun! But other than that, you need some sort of an agenda to keep it from being you and your bridesmaids all dolled up with nowhere to go. Look into any clubs, shows, or events that are going on that you could get reservations for (you don’t want to show up somewhere and have to wait in a long line or get turned away). Locking in a plan is so important and often gets overlooked. Be sure whatever you do and wherever you’re going is actually going to happen!

Sound the Horn

Have your maid of honor (or two of your bridesmaids) help you arrange your bachelorette party. You can’t do it all alone, afterall! Have one of your girls be the more main point of contact for wrangling all your bridesmaid so you don’t have to. Have them be sure that everyone is in attendance and knows what to wear. The last thing you need right now is your bridesmaids texting you suggesting different clubs to go to. Planning a wedding requires enough juggling as is, you don’t need to juggle arranging another party on top of it!

Plan your Rides

If you’re trying to get into some (safe!) trouble, be sure that everyone will be able to get home safe. Set up uber drivers, taxis, or a designated driver if there’s going to be any drinking at all. There’s often promo codes for free credits for uber drivers and other similar services (so you can do it on a budget!). Know in advance if you’re going to sleep at a friends house or if anyone is going to sleep on your couch for the night. Do what you can to get to your location and get home as safely as possible. It can be easy to overlook getting a ride, but you’ll be happy you planned ahead when the line for a cab goes around the block and you’re in uncomfortable heels.

Designate the Team Photographer

Be sure everyone’s phones and cameras are all charged up and ready to go! It can be handy to have one person be in charge of taking pictures so you’re not all fighting for selfie time. Have your maid of honor or one of your bridesmaids handle taking pictures for everyone and uploading in a timely manner. You may also want to prep her on what to upload and what not to upload, but that’s more up to you.


Five Ways to Bond With Other Bridesmaids

Yay for wedding parties! Now that you’re officially a bridesmaid, it’s time to get excited for the big day. Just remember, there’s more people involved than just the bride- you’re part of a whole party of bridesmaids (they don’t call it a bridal party for nothing!). You all need to be able to work together to help throw the best party ever. If you aren’t close with the other bridesmaids, or if you don’t know they just yet, you’re in luck! We’ve got some awesome ideas on how to bond with the bridal party and make this wedding one of the best times of your life. Who knows, you might bond well enough to have them be bridesmaids at your wedding too!

Start Talking

Find the other bridesmaids on facebook and shoot them a message. Say something quick and friendly mentioning that you’ll both be bridesmaids. You can even do a group message with all the bridesmaids so the whole group can get to know each other. Start by talking about how excited you are for the wedding, or how happy you are for the bride. It’s common ground for everyone!

Start Slow

Starting new friendships is similar to starting a new relationship. Sometimes it’s good to just start with coffee before you dive in for dinner! Do a quick after-work happy hour or some Saturday morning coffee to chat and discuss the wedding. Have some sort of agenda so you don’t all get there and not say anything. You can use this day to start initial brainstorming for the bachelorette party.

Get Moving

Another great activity for bridesmaids to do to bond is working out. It can be something like bikram yoga or even a crossfit bootcamp. Getting your blood flowing is a surefire way to get bonding. If you can find a groupon, or even a free class to crash invite the bridesmaids! Weddings tend to make people more aware of being fit, so it’s the perfect chance. Towards the beginning of the month, gyms and studios tend to do more free classes so do some research and start stretching.

Do Test Runs

As it gets closer to the wedding, arrange for a makeup test run. Call up a makeup counter and let them know you’re coming in ahead of time. The  bride will most likely have her own makeup artist reserved for the day, but you should all be covered too! Go out and ask for a makeup artist to give you tips and tricks and teach you how to do your wedding look. You’ll all be able to help each other and learn a few awesome makeup tips while you’re at it!

Plan Surprises

A long-standing tradition is for the bridal party to decorate the honeymoon suite, or whatever room the bride and groom will be sleeping in right after the wedding. Go all out and plan this in advance. Do balloons, rosepetals, silly pictures, maybe even some snacks or champagne. You’ll all get to be creative and work on a fun project together to surprise the bride.


Top Five Tips for a Drama-Free Bridal Party

If it’s your big day, you shouldn’t have to stress over anything at all. Unfortunately, one big stress some brides have is drama within the bridal party. We don’t want you to have to go through any unnecessary drama though! We’ve got tips on keeping the peace between your girls so you can have a peaceful wedding.

Bond When You Can

If there’s any awkward tension in the group, do what you can to diffuse it with some good old fashioned quality time. Do a Sunday bridal party brunch with manis and pedis, or wake up early to take a hike together. Group activities can create new, fun memories that diffuse awkward vibes. The more time your bridal party spends together, the more time they have to forge new friendships!

Create Conversations

As much as we’d all love to be social butterflies and float effortlessly through conversation, it’s a difficult skill to master! Give your girls a hand by creating conversations for everyone to participate in. If you have everyone over and spend the whole night talking office gossip, your college friends and hometown BFF’s may not feel included. An easy way to create conversation is to go see a movie, then go out for drinks and dessert afterward. Everyone will be able to participate and stay on the same page.

One on One

If you’re noticing any tension between any of your bridesmaids, pull them aside. If you see something, say something. Talk to each person one on one to try and see where any issues may lie. It may be a little much to go straight into a sit down confrontation, so create a safe environment where no one feels judged. Explain your needs and that you don’t want any tension on your special day, and emphasize that you want everyone to have a great time.

Call Rank

If you’re still seeing anyone butting heads after having a sit down, step up and remind them who’s getting married. It is your day, and you deserve everything you want. Tell everyone straight up that you don’t want any drama and to put their egos aside for the sake of the party. There’s nothing wrong with asking this of your friends- if they really are your friends, they’ll listen.

Ask your Maid of Honor

Still getting nowhere? Don’t have time to actually take care of any egos that may not be meshing well? Get your maid of honor on it. She’s your right-hand lady for a reason, afterall! Be gentle when you’re handling other people’s feelings, but be firm. This will affect your special day, so you should have final say. Trust her to de-tense any weird feelings and keep the peace between the bridesmaids.


Follow our five tips, and pretty soon your whole bridal party will be fast friends!


Top Five Tips for Planning a Destination Bachelorette Party

Whether you’re a meticulous maid of honor or a hands on bride, you’ll need some serious organization skills to pull off a destination bachelorette party. If you want to take a Spring break with your girlfriends in honor of the wedding, check out our tips for having the most awesome bachelorette party ever!DestinationParty.jpg.jpg

Start a Chain

Stick to one form of communication with everyone that’s going to keep everyone updated all at once- email. This way you can send links and skip over messages that you don’t need or aren’t relevant anymore. Keep everyone on the chain by hitting ‘reply all’ every time. Just be sure to not reply with ‘lol’ at everything. Keep it strictly to travel related information and save all the side conversations for chat or text.

Do Research

Narrow down any destination options if you haven’t already. Use the email chain to settle anything you’re unsure of with a vote. Be sure to do research on all destinations and activities that you could do and present that to the group with links or reviews. An informed traveler is a happy traveler!

Divide and Conquer

When you have a game plan, divvy up the work so you can all enjoy the festivities. If you have a friend who has a knack for finding great restaurants, have them in charge of finding nearby restaurants or bars. If you have someone who knows hotel professionals, have them in charge of the hotel (you may even be able to score a discount!). Use your awesome team to your advantage to have a smooth and safe trip.

Set Deadlines

Have a timeline and make sure everyone sticks to it! To keep costs down for everyone, get any plane tickets booked at least two weeks in advance of departure. Have everyone get their days covered at work if they need it a few weeks before departure. Keep everyone accountable so there’s no drama later on.

Pack Light

Stick to the essentials and pieces that are versatile. Plan ahead- if you’re spending most of your time at the beach, you may not even need any jeans or sweaters at all. If you’re going out, skip the bikinis for cocktail dresses. Really try to plan your packing ahead so you don’t overpack. If you’re close enough with your bridesmaids, plan out who’s going to bring flat irons, curling irons, or blow dryers. If you can keep it to a purse and a carry on, you’ve done it right.


Five Ways to Save on Your Bachelorette Party

You’re going to be spending a whole lot on your wedding, and that should be the only night you’re saving for. Your bachelorette party is going to be a great night too, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Here are a few of our tips on saving on your bachelorette party.

Start at Home

If you’re doing drinks, start slow and start at home! Pick up a few bottles of bubbly and a flat of strawberries and let the night start at your own pace. You’ll all save big bucks versus bar prices, plus you don’t have to worry about standing in lines or waiting for servers.

Do Your Research

If you’re doing a girl’s night out, do some research on any bars or clubs that may do specials for groups. One of the best ways to find a new place to go is to check out local deal sites for deep discounts. You may find a hidden gem that does an awesome girl’s night or a new favorite with an awesome dance floor!

Call Ahead

Speaking of waiting in line, if you were planning on going out to a hotspot plan for it.  You may be able to get a cover waived if you milk the fact that it’s going to be a bachelorette party (clubs and hotspots love groups like bachelorette parties). It’s worth a shot and could save you time and money at the door.

Don’t Splurge on Specialty Items

If you’re dressing up or doing a theme at all, don’t shop for new items to wear. Try your best to shop your stash to save on going out clothes (those shoes alone can cost more than the whole night out). If you and your girlfriends want to do a theme brainstorm together to figure out what you can all pull off. If you’re going to do something wacky, at the very least check out second hand stores first so you can get a deep discount on an outfit.

Designate a Driver

Not only is this smart, but it could save you a boatload in cab fees. You can get a few of the groomsmen to volunteer if a few of your bridesmaids offer to drive for the bachelor party. If you’ll be having a few drinks, you absolutely cannot be driving at all. Just remember, if you ask someone else to DD for you, you’ll have to repay the favor.

Five Guilt-Free Bridal Shower Snacks

Bridal beauties and maids of honors- it’s time to start planning your bachelorette party events! If it’s time for you to start gathering your girls together, plan for some serious snacking. Since you all have this big event in common coming up, you may be looking for leaner options. Don’t worry, we have a bunch of tasty snacks in mind for your next bridal gathering that won’t leave you hungry.Hummus.jpg.jpg

Hummus & Pita

It’s the healthy version of chips and dip, if that’s your snacking style. You can pick up a few different tubs at any grocery store, but more specialty stores like Trader Joe’s may have more diverse flavors. We love sea salt pita chips and organic hummus any time- and so will your bridesmaids!

Dark Chocolate & Fruit

Dark chocolate has been proven to have antioxidants that are great for you- plus it’s chocolate! Who can resist? If you don’t have a taste for the bitter stuff, opt for a lower percentage (65%-72%) and pair it with fruit. We love orange rinds with dark chocolate or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. It’s decadent and rich without weighing you down. Yogurt.jpg.jpg

Yogurt Bar

For something more fun, get a few tubs of a low fat plain yogurt and put them into a big bowl. Put out fresh chopped fruit like blueberries and strawberries for your girls to mix into their yogurt. To make it a heavier snack, put out granola or opt for a greek yogurt. It’s a great snack for a morning wedding meeting.

Fresh Sushi

You can get crafty and make your own sushi rolls with your girls, or you can go to a nearby sushi bar. Sushi is a great food that is light and offers a lot of necessary vitamins and healthy fishy fats for your body. Plus, sushi is an easier food to get made fresh without any deep-fried, over sugared, unnecessary fats.

Smoothie Stations

Bust out the ice tray and start making some smoothies with your girls! Dust off the blender and get yourself some fresh fruit, yogurts, ice, milk, and anything else you’d want in a smoothie. Instead of making one big batch for everyone, let people pick what they’d like. You can make it a game and vote on your favorite smoothie and have an official bachelorette party smoothie recipe!


Five Trending Fall Eyeliners

Hi there bridal beauties! Here at Bridal Hot List we’re keeping our eye on trends and we are very pleased to announce the cat eye is back and is more fun than ever before. We’re loving seeing fun twists on the classic cat eye, which you can emulate using any of these five trending eyeliners.

Blue is beautiful, let’s keep that straight. This fall, we’re loving solid cobalt blueliner. We like Covergirl’s Perfect Blend liner in “Cobalt Blue 135” ($5-$6, drugstores) for a royal blue that screams Kate Middleton (even if you’re more of a Pippa). Use the blender on the end of the pencil to create a blended look, or keep the lines bold for bachelorette parties.

If you are more of a Kate than a Pippa, maybe a nude liner would be better for you. Line your lids with a flesh toned kohl for a seriously sleek look. We love Rimmel’s Scandaleyes eyeliner in “Nude 005” ($4, drugstores) because it’s easy to blend but stays only where you want it to be. Doing a trendy cat eye in an unexpected color like nude makes two classics fresh all over again!

One color trend that is absolutely booming this season is deep violets. We love MAC’s Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in “Almost Noir” ($16, MAC counters) for being bold, deep, and beautiful on all skintones. The color itself is complex and complimentary without being overwhelming to most looks.

If you’re more of a traditionalist, pick up a black liner that lets you easily play with thickness and color saturation. The “Super Skinny Marker” by NYX ($9, beauty supply stores) is easy to handle and can create subtle liner looks or dramatic angel wings with the flick of a wrist. Plus, you can go lighter or harder to create a lighter or darker liner.

A bold powercolor can always be fun. We love “Electric” by Urban Decay ($19, Sephora) as a bold bright blue. For a super trendy Fall liner look, do a thick wing with this blue, then go over it again with a thin black close to your eyelid. Layered eyeliner creates a dramatic, confident look that will be a hit at any bachelorette events you have lined up.